That Pain in the Ass Kid

DAVIS, a 16-year-old, delivers the newspaper to a grey stone house and then crosses a low slope onto the driveway of the next house. 20140914_112815A young boy, JESSE, is at the far end of the driveway near the back of the house. DAVIS glances at him, delivers the paper to the front door and continues to the next house.

JESSE (Coming around from the house): Hey!

DAVIS (Only half stopping): Hi.

JESSE: Since when have you been delivering our paper?

DAVIS (Still walking away): Since today.

JESSE: What’s your name?

DAVIS doesn’t answer him, delivering the paper to the next house. JESSE rides up on his bike beside DAVIS on the street. JESSE is 10 years old, thick dark hair, with chubby arms and a dirty striped shirt; he has a dog, a standard poodle, tied to his bike.20140914_112235

JESSE: What’s your name?

DAVIS (Frowning at the poodle tied to JESSE’s bike): Davis.

JESSE: My name’s Jesse.(Gesturing to the poodle) This is Silver.

DAVIS goes to the next house.

JESSE: Where do you live?

DAVIS: I don’t know. Up the street.

JESSE: You just move in?

DAVIS: I can’t talk, all right? I got to work.

JESSE: I’ve lived here my whole life.

DAVIS walks up the walkway to the next house and delivers the paper. When he looks back, he sees JESSE riding away fast, the dog desperately trying to keep up.

DISSOLVE TO: EXT. DAY. DAVIS delivers newspapers to the same houses on another bright sunny morning. 20140914_112328JESSE appears again, the dog still tied to his bike, from the same driveway.


DAVIS ignores him.

JESSE: I can deliver some, if you want.

DAVIS: No, thanks.

JESSE: I can do it.

DAVIS: I’m sure you can.

JESSE (Reaching for a paper from under DAVIS’ arm): I mean it.

DAVIS (Pulling away): It’s my job.

JESSE: I want to help.

DAVIS (Seeing a basketball net in JESSE’s backyard): Tell you what. I’ll play you 21.

JESSE: Okay!

DAVIS: You win, you can deliver papers with me. 20140914_112916JESSE:All right.

DAVIS (After a pause): I win, and you leave me alone

JESSE (Frowning): Okay.

They play. DAVIS wins and walks away. JESSE rides past him, over the front lawn, the poodle still desperately trying to keep up.

You Can Go Home But It Will Be Landscaped

My childhood home had a wide open front yard; there was a stone wall and a low bush that came straight across the front. That’s all been sculpted away.

20140914_112837The new people created a precise maze of flowers and trees.

Many years ago, my parents commented that all of our neighbors were landscaping like crazy. So now it’s come to where I used to live. 20140914_112812But the biggest thing was that none of us were home; we had all moved – or died, leaving this place all but forgotten. 20140914_112833Except for the fire hydrant; it’s not like any of us could forget that.

My Weirdest Lie – Boy Throws Hockey Stick

I’ve lied about many dumb things in my life, but the weirdest of all is from my pre-teen days.

I rode my Banana bike around Forest Hill, a neighborhood of manicured lawns and three-car garages, going up and down the cobblestone hill on Vesta Drive. 164325739tpm_8071I had Trix spoke beads and had somehow hypnotized myself to try a dumb thing: I wanted to see what would happen if I jammed a stick into the front wheel as I pedaled.

Spoke beads

Spoke beads

So I did that and, not too surprisingly, flipped over the handlebars.

A woman yelled from across her lawn, “Are you all right?”

I hobbled away, my knee bleeding, my wheel wobbly, desperate not to explain my stupidity. However the problem lay ahead of how to answer to my mother.

I couldn’t come up with much of anything except that I had been somehow attacked. Forest Hill isn’t exactly a place of marauding gangs – although I had once been challenged to fight in the ravine by a dozen 9-year-olds – and so I came up with a story that I thought might suffice. article-2349229-1A871578000005DC-484_634x411“This kid came running out from behind his house and threw his hockey stick like a spear. It went right into my front wheel and I went flying.”

My mother scowled – she was good at that – and walked away. I don’t think she believed any of it but she was never one for digging.